how much does hardwood floor refinishing cost?

how much does hardwood floor refinishing cost?

When your hardwood floors were first installed, they were likely your pride and joy. Nothing takes a home to the next level, like beautiful floors.

Over the years, your floors may have lost some of their lusters.

Fortunately, one of the benefits of having real hardwood floors is you can refinish them to achieve that like-new polished glow once again.

However, you might be considering installing a whole new set of floors if they’re damaged substantially. How do you know if refinishing or installing is the better choice for your floors and your wallet?

Let’s talk about the ins and outs of hardwood refinishing, as well as the specific hardwood floor refinishing costs associated with the project.

Why It’s Important to Refinish Hardwood Floors?

We’ll begin by discussing why you would want to refinish hardwood floors in the first place. After all, aren’t hardwood floors durable and long-lasting?

The number one reason to look into professional hardwood floor refinishing is to remove dents and scratches that occur over time. If you have pets or kids, you likely have your fair share of blemishes throughout the house, regardless of how careful everyone is.

You may also want to refinish your floor to remove damage from extended sunlight exposure. The UV rays can fade the color of your floors, giving them a tarnished, dull appearance.

Lastly, you may decide to refinish the floors to remove water stains and moisture damage. However, this only works if the water damage is in its first stages. The darker the boards become, the more irreparable damage is occurring deep inside.

Factors That Affect Hardwood Floor Refinishing Cost

We’ll get to actual dollar signs – but first, we need to address the numerous factors that impact the overall price of a hardwood refinishing project.


The first element in the cost of refinishing hardwood floors is the amount of furniture that needs to be moved. Unless you’re clearing the rooms on your own, the contractor will likely charge at least $30/room to remove the furniture and put it back.

Preparations also include removing baseboards before the cleaning, sanding, and staining. Expect to pay at least $70 to remove each board and the same amount for the contract to put them back on.


The next refinishing costs to prepare for are the prices of necessary repairs. Do you have deep scratches? Holes that need to be filled? Spots that are majorly discolored?

All of these issues will need to be fixed before the refinishing, and that will cost anywhere from $25 to $100 per problem.

Size of Space

Next comes the square footage of the floors that need to be refinished. The bigger space, the more time (and money) it will take to get the job done.

Expect to pay at least $1.50 per square foot, if not up to $4.

Quality of Original Finish

What does your old floor finish look like? If it’s still in good shape, it probably won’t be too expensive to strip off the paint and varnish. However, if your original finish was done poorly, it could be more difficult to remove – and more expensive.

Wax Removal

You’ll need to pay for wax removal so the contracting team can sand down your floors for smooth results. In general, the cost to remove all of the wax from a floor will be between $150 to $200.

Color of Chosen Stain

A big part of your home improvement project is choosing just the right color for your new floor finish. The more stains you apply, the darker the appearance of the floor. Each stain coat adds a bit to your overall price tag.

If you want to get a lighter color, more sanding is required to apply the lighter color. Again, this is more work for the hired team, and therefore more expensive.


Are you refinishing your stairs? That’ll tack on at least $50 per step. The more stairs in your home, the more your entire refinishing project will cost.


Last but not least comes the cost of cleaning up. Depending on the scale of the project, this can be a big part of the bill. Talk to your contractor ahead of time to understand exactly what kind of cleanup prices you’ll face at the end of the refinishing project.

The Cost of Refinishing Hardwood Floors vs. Getting New Floors

You might be wondering, “Is it cheaper to refinish or replace hardwood floors?” You want them to look like new again, but if your original floors are in bad shape, you’re likely worried that refinishing won’t be enough.

In general, we can tell you that replacing your floors is typically more than refinishing them. For an entire replacement, the materials, including the wood, can cost at least $2 per square foot – plus $5 or more for installation.

However, if your floors are extremely damaged, a contractor may recommend an entire replacement. Schedule an inspection to receive an estimate for both options.

Questions to Ask Before Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Are There Parts of My Floor That Are Too Damaged to Refinish?

If refinishing won’t fix certain parts of your floor, you’ll want to know that up front. Ask your contractor to point out the spots that are concerning.

How Extensive Are My Necessary Repairs?

Different problems, such as scratches or holes, cost different amounts to repair. Have your contractor create an itemized list of all your repairs so that you can understand the total cost of fixes before refinishing.

What Kind of Stain Is Best for My Floors?

Before launching into any big home improvement project, you need to know what options best suit your specific house and style. Which works better for your home: An oil-based poly with a satin finish? An espresso-colored stain? A natural look and feel?

Do some research of your own, but also talk to a refinishing expert to understand all of your choices.

How Long Will the Refinishing Project Take?

This answer will depend on the weather conditions in your area, the number of coats needed, and whether or not color will be added. Typically, each refinishing coat takes at least a few hours, if not a day or two.

Is This Contractor Bonded and Insured?

It doesn’t matter how low the cost of refinishing hardwood floors is if the contractor doesn’t have the right certifications. When a contractor is “bonded,” you’re financially protected if the job is done poorly or left unfinished. Their insurance covers any liability claims that may arise when they’re working in your home.

What Is the Required Deposit Upfront?

Although a hardwood floor refinishing cost estimate is helpful, it’s not effective if it doesn’t include fees like a required deposit. Ask for those before committing to a contractor.

What Are the Total Cost of Furniture, Old Flooring, and Debris Removal?

The costs of furniture removal and cleanup are a big part of your entire refinishing price. Ensure you have these fees listed out before you agree to start any refinishing project.


If we’ve done our job right, we’ve guided you toward the right option when it comes to your hardwood situation. Whether you’ve decided to refinish or replace your floors, it’s important that you feel confident about the price and benefits of your choice.

At Floors By the Shore, we bring new life to homes with old, tarnished floors. We’ve installed over 4,000 floors in the Jersey Shore area, and we’re more than happy to take a look at yours. Our highly trained craftsman tackle projects quickly and safely while providing outstanding results.

Call us today at 732-655-6155 or send us a message to get an estimate for the cost to refinish hardwood stairs and floors. We want you to know that you’re picking the right investment for your floor and home.